JORABAT, Sept 2 - Expressing optimism about the huge potential of medical tourism in the north-eastern region, Dr Gitartha Roymedhi, in-charge of healthcare tourism and social healthcare of the North East Cancer Hospital and Research Institute (NECHRI) said the healthcare tourism can be the next success story in the North East if the existing marketing policies and strategies can be upgraded.
In the present healthcare system, there are some deficiencies, due to which many patients from this region head for places like Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai or Kolkata for treatment, he said, adding that the hospitals in those places have become brands and therefore, they also attract patients from other countries too.
“Healthcare in North East India is growing. All the major hospitals and institutions in the region are equipped with modern technologies and have employed experienced physicians and surgeons, skilled nurses and trained technicians. The north-eastern states have the potential to attract patients from different countries, particularly from Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Myanmar and even African countries and Gulf nations,” Dr Roymedhi said.
He further said the cool and pleasant weather of the region will add extra comfort to the patients.
“India is visited by thousands of foreigners seeking quality treatment because the treatment costs in our country are about 30 per cent less than in the developed countries. Like other industries, healthcare also runs on demand and quality assurance. Upgrading the quality can help the North East, particularly Assam, transform itself into a cheap healthcare hub for the neighbouring countries,” added Dr Roymedhi.
The NECHRI has already attracted patients from Nigeria, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar.
Dr Narimah Binti Awin from Malaysia, former director of the World Health Organisation (WHO) for Southeast Asia, also visited the NECHRI for promoting healthcare tourism in Assam.